Roche’s €382M Acquisition to Expand its Fight against Drug-Resistant Bacteria

14/08/2015 - 2 minutes

The biggest biotech company worldwide has just become even bigger: Roche acquired the Californian GeneWEAVE BioSciences, a privately held company that developed a cool technology to diagnose drug-resistant bacteria. For the integration, Roche shells out $190M (€171M) upfront and up to $235M (€211M) product-related milestones.

GeneWEAVE is an American company that developed a technology which is quite simple but really effective. It is used to quickly identify multi-resistant organisms, without all the time-consuming preparation processes like culturing or sampling.

How? GeneWEAVE is packing DNA into bioparticles that bind to a specific bacteria. The DNA is then transferred to the pathogen in a similar way bacteriophages do, and this leads to light-expression. This first step allows detection of a specific strain, which can then be used as a resistance test to specific antibiotics. The drug is added and if the bacteria stop gleaming, the drug is effective, if not, the pathogens are resistant. For more information about the technology, check out the video on GeneWEAVE’s website here.

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